When my daughter was about 9 months old she developed an ear infection. She fought ear infections for the next 2 years. One month it would be the left ear, the next month it would be the right ear. Some months we were at the doctor’s office twice: one ear then the next. Sometimes it was both ears! Finally, her pediatrician gave her a low dose of an antibiotic which she had to take for an entire month. That knocked the ear infections out and she never had another. Thank goodness, because we didn’t have insurance and it was stressful as hell.
The problem with the ear infections, aside from the obvious, was that it was during the years that she was learning to speak and understand words and phrases. She wasn’t hearing things correctly so her words were incorrect. Some of her words were:
Piddle = cereal
Pupcake = cupcake
Puppard = cupboard
Wunny wun = another one
Pappow = Grampa
Toocoo = Cuckoo
There were so many but I can’t think of any more right now. It was hard for anyone to understand what SR was saying, except for me. I was with her every day. I learned from interaction with her what she was trying to say and sometimes hand gestures and other body language helped me to learn her ‘language.’ Her father was another story…
One day, after many, many weeks of me nagging at CP to fix the fucking leak under the bathroom sink, he finally did it. SR (about 4 or 5 at the time) was curious and wanted to help. CP let her help by handing him the tools he needed and he showed her what he was doing. He talked to her a little about plumbing as if he actually knew anything. She took it all in, and for once in a very long time, I was impressed by CP’s interaction with her.
When the job was done, SR picked up tools and such and handed them to CP. Then she stood up and exclaimed, “Fack you, Pop!” Of course, CP had no clue what she really said but to him it sounded like she said, “Fuck you, Pop!” I can understand that. Anyone would have thought the same thing.
What pissed me off was CP’s reaction. He blew a gasket. He yelled at her, “I don’t know where you got that from but I’d better not ever hear you say it again!” SR ran to me, crying big ol’ hurt feeling tears. I asked CP what had happened and he yelled at me for teaching her to say Fuck You. I said, “Excuse me?” and turned to SR. I asked her, “What did you say to Pop?” She told me what she said.
I turned to CP and told him, “She said no such thing. Don’t you dare accuse me of teaching her something that she has heard you say before, too! What she said was THANK you, and if you would have stopped to think a minute about her speech impediment, you might have been able to figure it out!” He walked away, pouting as usual, and I sat with SR and tried to explain to her that her Pop just didn’t hear her right and thought she said a bad word. “I dint mommy,” she said. “I know, baby girl.” She sat with me for a few minutes and then she jumped up to go play with her toys. CP never apologized to her, or to me.
SR had a speech impediment when she started school but thankfully, she was able to see a Speech Therapist during school hours and by the time she hit 3rd or 4th grade, she didn’t need to go anymore.
I’ll never forget how CP made her feel… Since she was so little, I doubt she remembers so that’s a good thing.